Charity

cr2I felt like writing a post about charity this week, what it’s main focus was I hadn’t yet decided and it’s a decision that still hasn’t been made so I’m just gonna ramble for a few paragraphs and see what happens.

No doubt it’ll be a funny/entertaining/boring read because I’m a funny/entertaining/boring bastard.

Speaking of funny (c whut i did thar?) the reason I’ve been thinking about charity is because of the bi-yearly event that’s currently taking place on English television, Comic Relief. Set up in the mid eighties to help battle the struggles mainly in Africa, to tackle famine, povety and disease. A noble cause to be sure and throughout the show you get a glimpse of what things are like over there.

Safe to say it’s pretty hell on Earth over there, so every other year they host a huge event where they try and get everyone in the country to sponsor, donate, raise cash and every time they always make more than what they made on their previous show with the last show raising over £74 million.

It always makes me wonder though, what difference is it making? As I watch Comic Relief I see how just £5 can save one person from certain death due to disease; yet every year things seem to just be getting worse. They pile all these sob stories upon us to try and guilt us into donating our hard earned money and while it is a shame to see what’s happening to these poor people obviously what’s being done isn’t good enough. How about spending such money on moving these people away from desolate, diseased, disgusting areas of the world and putting them somewhere else?

The same goes for most charities though, whatever most of the charities are doing isn’t enough. The millions and billions that’s being poured into them… what difference have we seen? Have we rid the world of cancer? Have we even gotten close to curing it? Or AIDs? Have we rehoused the homeless? Of course not because then these charities wouldn’t need to exist and then what would be lining the pockets of the people running these things? You’re taking our money and producing no results. Great stuff.

What also annoys me about Comic Relief is the whole point of the show is to show whatever comedy they can, cram in a load of celebrities, make us laugh and then stick in a clip of a sick African kid to make us feel guilty for laughing.

"Having a good time? Good I'm glad, while you've been laughing at this little special edition skit, at least 10 African kids have died. Give us £5."
“Having a good time? Good I’m glad, while you’ve been laughing at this little special edition skit, at least 10 African kids have died. Give us £5.”

Then they show some pointless celebrity over in Africa visiting and filming the sick African kids, looking a bit teary eyed and pleading for us to give them money. Then they cut back to the studio and it’s all smiles again and back to the comedy. The whole thing is just fake bullshit. Do the comedians mention Comic Relief again after that night? Continue to plead for money via social networks? Of course not, they’re not on the television any more. That’s their free air time over with.

I remember when you used to get people standing outside holding a can/bucket for charity, you’d pop a few quid in and walk along; now you get them standing on street corners with clipboards or coming round to your house asking for your bank details; trying to lay the guilt trip on about whatever charity they’re working for. Pretending that they really care about the work they’re doing. They don’t give a shit, those jobs are purely commission based. They want your bank details so they can get their cut. They don’t give a shit if you cancel afterwards.

"Can I con you out of your bank details?"
“Can I con you out of your bank details?”

I worked for one of these companies for about 4 days, shadowing someone else. They sent us to the roughest parts of Rotherham and Sheffield to try and con poor people out of their details for some Autism charity called HFT, I couldn’t bring myself to actually ask anyone to part with their bank details while dancing around pretending to be overly happy and looking like a right dick. So I got in my car half way through the day and drove home, leaving the idiots that I’d given a lift to to find their own way back to Sheffield City Centre and looked for a real job. (Ended up selling gas and electric for a living shortly after that so I didn’t look hard enough)

The charities that piss me off the most are the animal ones; because you have sick and diseased humans about the world but you get World Wildlife Fund asking you to save a panda or some shit. Panda’s are going to die out eventually anyway and giving you millions upon millions of pounds isn’t going to stop that. Get a grip and get the fuck off of my television.

That’s not to say though that all charities are bollocks; the local ones are probably the best because you can see that they’re not in it for the money in most cases and things such as Help The Aged I agree with because the aged are treated like shit in this country and I would hope if I actually make it to old age there’s going to be help for me then too. Places such as hospitals trying help the sick children.

I have donated to charity sure, but events such as Comic Relief and “Red Nose Day” probably make me feel the least charitable of any day during the year. “Oh look it’s David Beckham giving a pre-recorded video from his villa in one of the 9 countries he has properties in asking us to give money, what an awesome guy he must be.”

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Author: 'Ard Pete

Hey everyone, my names Pete, friends call me 'Ard Pete because... well, I'm well 'Ard. Currently in Chesterfield, England, currently working as an I.T. Technical Lead for BT Business and Public Sector; it sounds more glamourous than it is but I'm a dab hand with Microsoft products. I enjoy television, mainly any Star Trek, all of Stargate, Lost, anything Joss Whedon has produced, 24 and House. Favourite music includes; Mumford and Sons, Jason Mraz, Eminem, Chris Cornell, Ludovico Einaudi, Goo Goo Dolls, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars basically a wide variety of anything that's real, I hate dance, trance and anything like that, I don't consider that to be music. Not much of a sports guy, I like Professional Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, I can watch Football but only when I'm forced to watch it. Favourite author is Terry Pratchett, favourite film is Armageddon, favourite comedian is Lee Evans, favourite idiot is Karl Pilkington, favourite game is GTAIII, if there's anything else you wish to know, don't hesitate to ask. I'll more than likely not be busy.

14 thoughts on “Charity”

  1. The problems in Africa can be related back to the famous Jesus or Spock quote, I get them confused. Or maybe it was someone else. It’s that whole “teach a man to fish” thing. If people don’t know how to support themselves then things will always go back to the way they are. People in Africa don’t know about the other options out there. Dropping off supplies can only help for so long. They essentially have to help themselves and usually the problem in those countries is because the government won’t let them.

    These benefit shows are always shit. Veronica Mars raised about 3 million dollars for a movie on Kick Starter. I think the biggest problems are usually because we all want something different in life and our priorities are the same way. Say there are 4 diseases in the world and 100 people. These diseases need 80 people to donate to their cause to cure it. Unfortunately 25 people donate to each. I still think we should as a planet concentrate on one problem at a time. Cure something easy like famine first so people get more motivated. Have a timeline too. Some diseases probably cannot be cured. Plus no one cares about anything until it happens to them personally for the most part which I can’t even blame them for.

    1. People always say that they’re helpless because of the conditions they live in but what’s exactly keeping them there? Their poorly constructed metal shed that they live in? If it is their governments that’s stopping their own people from getting help maybe people should be doing something about that.

      Famine and homelessness definitely can be sorted and surely should have been by now.

      1. I’m thinking more of African Warlord countries. It’s pretty hard for them to rise up considering they have no guns and the government does. Other places though it’s easier for them to leave. Famine is silly because we could easily make so much more food. Homeless is stupid too. I think there needs to be some sort of way for a person to live free. Of course it would still be shitty conditions but they will have food, water, and housing. I’m still not sure if we should give these freeloaders air.

        1. I’m suprised that we don’t have to pay tax for air, we pay for water and food to survive, why not charge for the third thing while they’re at it?

  2. I Give to the Salvation Army and local cancer charities, never animal or foriegn ones.
    I believe charity begins at home.

  3. Fookin Ell Pete. I never thought of it that way. WHY AREN’T THINGS GETTING BETTER??? So insane. I do remember Red Nose Day and I hated it so much. I hated those damn red noses that they sold in Sainsbury’s. So creepy. And why would they choose Comic Relief as their slogan when the people that they’re trying to help haven’t ever laughed in their entire life? So annoying. Great post Pete. Loved it!

    1. My work was littered with them stupid noses today, wanting me to go to another call centre after work to take Red Nose donation calls; while I’m sure they’ll all find it fun, the last thing I want to spend my off hours on after a week of answering phone calls is answering more phone calls from members of the public that are stupid enough to hand out their bank details to Comic Relief.

  4. Great post, Pete. Well done. I think comic relief and red nose day are lame and transparent. Actors and celebrities use these things to promote themselves. The reason you and I hate this is because we see how false it is. It’s thinly veiled.
    David Beckham could provide enough money for any one of these charities by living a little more simply. People like Oprah could feed and clothe a whole country by themselves. So why aren’t things getting better?

  5. I’m always torn in two frames of mind when it comes to charities. Firstly, I wholeheartedly agree with your point about Beckham sat in his mansions, scratching his ballsack, telling us to give our money away when he has just bought a marble bathtub, or something. A lot of rich people do give to charity, and then a lot of them don’t. Of course it depends upon the person, but I do think that telethons like Red Nose Day are such contrived pieces of shite- a percentage of the money given to these charities never even reaches the intended recipients, corrupt governments and all that. The intentions are noble, the results just aren’t up to scratch.

    On the other hand, I do support the work of research and local charities where the effects of the donations are more visible- instead of a tiny drop in a massive sea of poverty, often local charities can make a big impact on the areas they work in. You are entirely right, charity does begin at home, and as I read in one of the comments above me, we do need to sort ourselves out before we can make a true effort to fix everything else.

    I do support animal charities because I think as part of having a concious mind, we do also need to be responsible for all the other critters who live on our planet. The exception to the rule being the RSPCA, who have a policy of shooting horses and putting down dogs if their shelters are too full to take them… but I’ll just leave that as that. You mentioned AIDs as well… a young girl has actually been ‘cured’ of the disease recently, which is no doubt in part due to the research efforts- http://news.sky.com/story/1059622/hiv-baby-doctors-say-infected-girl-cured. But I do know what you mean! Everyone asks us to waste our money on impossible causes, it’s only very rare that something ever comes of it. The question we need to ask ourselves is, not only can we care enough, but does our money lead to action, or mere profit?

    1. Aye good points Anna, obviously if no one donated, nothing would get done at all I just hate the falseness of it all especially with the big shows like Comic Relief down to those fuckers knocking on your door trying to make you think they care and guilting you into handing over your bank details. But I suppose it’s a neccessary evil for shit to get done. That’s amazing about that girl being cured, it’s definitely a start to fully curing the disease altogether!

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